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Average festival goer prefers to get drunk and take drugs than watch bands, new poll 'discovers'

Poll also 'discovers' that 25% of people have had sex with a stranger while at a festival

Andy Willsher/NME
Photo: Andy Willsher/NME
A new poll has apparently discovered that the average festival goer would rather spend time taking drugs, having sex and drinking than watching bands perform live.

The poll, run by MSN, quizzed 2,000 people about their festival habits and opinions and found that a quarter of them had slept with a stranger at a festival while 21% had taken drugs and 13% had been in a fight.

Non-musical merrymaking at festivals apparently spans the generations, with 9% of middle-aged (aged 45-54) people quizzed admitting to using drugs at a festival, a fifth confessing to drinking heavily and 10% saying they'd slept with someone they met on site. Only 45% of people polled said they went to festivals for the music.

Overall, 47% of the 2,000 people polled admitted to having done something they would "never consider doing outside of the music festival environment" while at a festival. Other reasons for attending festivals cited by those quizzed included the atmosphere, socialising with friends and the opportunity to escape from everyday life.

In response to the poll, George McKay, Professor of Cultural Studies at Salford University, said: "Festivals are deeply rooted in the carnival tradition, which is to invert everyday expectations of normal behaviour. Historically, carnivals would have a 'lord of misrule' who oversaw the revelries and subversion of the ordinary rules of life. Music festivals continue to be places where we can escape reality and subvert the rules - whatever age we happen to be."

Financially, the average spend at UK festivals among the 2,000 people polled was £423. However, 60% of young people (aged 18-24) quizzed said that festivals are too expensive for them.

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